António Guterres has been announced as the “clear favourite” for Secretary-General by the UN Security Council, according to Council President Vitaly Churkin. It is expected that a resolution to recommend Mr Guterres for the post will be agreed on by acclamation in the Security Council tomorrow at 10am EST.
The result is a triumph for the more open, inclusive and meritocratic process which 1 for 7 Billion has worked hard to achieve. The anticipated nomination of Mr Guterres shows that the UN Security Council could not ignore the widespread call for merit to prevail over regional considerations and the political interests of Council members.
“Guterres was not seen as a frontrunner at the beginning of the race. He was "wrong" in terms gender and region, but was widely considered to have done well in his General Assembly dialogue and in other events, with many commenting on his experience and ability to inspire.”
Natalie Samarasinghe, co-founder of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign
The number of negative votes for late entry Kristalina Georgieva could be an indication of the Security Council's respect for the reformed process facilitated by UN General Assembly resolution 69/321 which states that candidates should “be presented in a timely manner”.
1 for 7 Billion is pleased that the Council has agreed on a well-qualified candidate who has engaged in dialogue with the General Assembly and civil society, and participated in a public debate organised by 1 for 7 Billion’s partners.
The formal decision will take place on the morning of 6 October when the Security Council are anticipated to recommend Mr Guterres for appointment by the General Assembly. The Assembly then plays a crucial role by approving the Security Council's choice and determining the terms of the future Secretary-General’s job.
The 1 for 7 Billion campaign is urging General Assembly members to decide that the next UN leader should stand for a single, longer term of office, possibly of seven years. This would enhance the independence of the future Secretary-General and provide him with the necessary political space to make progress without the distraction of considering reappointment.
1 for 7 Billion has consistently opposed horsetrading by which permanent members of the Council extract promises from candidates in exchange for a positive vote: a practice that has happened in the past and contravenes the letter and spirit of the Charter. It is of crucial importance that there be no monopoly by any state on senior posts and that the Secretary-General is given full freedom to appoint the strongest possible leadership team, from all regions, chosen solely on the basis of merit.